2019-11-18 13:43:411 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. (Image Source: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today)
Here’s a look at the matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs:
Series: Chiefs lead 61-55-1; Streak: Chiefs have won nine of the past ten; Last Meeting: Chargers 29, Chiefs 28 (12.13.18)
Time: 8:15 PM ET; TV: ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters)
Where They Stand:
Coming off a loss, the Kansas City Chiefs dropped to 6-4, which leaves them tied with the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West heading into tonight’s matchup. They’ve found most of their success on their road (4-1) and KC is 2-0 in the division. Conversely, the Los Angeles Chargers are 0-2 against the AFC West, but don’t count them out just yet. Yes, they’re only 4-6 but if they can upset the Chiefs, the Chargers will pull to within striking distance of the division lead. A loss and it will be hard to imagine them climbing back into the playoff conversation.
When the Chiefs Have the Ball:
The Chiefs lost last week as Patrick Mahomes returned but don’t blame the quarterback. Mahomes set a career high with 36 completions on his way to 446 yards and three touchdowns (no INTs) for 119.2 rating. His 8,007 career yards are the most ever through 25 starts. He’s posted a rating of at least 105 in his past six division games and has six touchdowns with no interceptions (122.2 rating) in his past two against the Chargers. Tyreek Hill caught a career-high 11 passes last week for 157 yards, his fourth-career game with 150-plus yards and second straight with at least 140 yards. Along with Hill, tight end Travis Kelce gives KC a potent one-two punch. He had seven catches in the last meeting with LA. Running back Damien Williams has posted 100-plus scrimmage yards in his past two games.
The Chargers defense is strong upfront, at least on the edges. Sack-leader Joey Bosa (8.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss) has 5.5 sacks in his past four games, while fellow defensive end Melvin Ingram (4.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss) is coming off his fifth career two-plus sack game. He’s produced at least 1.5 sacks in the past two and has 5.5 in his past four against the Chiefs. A pair of newcomers lead the linebacking corps. Rookie linebacker Drue Tranquill is coming off a career game with a team-high 14 tackles last week, while long-time veteran Thomas Davis tops the team in his first season LA with 78 stops through 10 games.
When the Chargers Have the Ball:
The most prolific quarterback in the NFL this season through 10 weeks has been Philip Rivers who leads the league with 2,816 passing yards. His 6,870 yards against KC are the most against any opponent and he’s thrown multiple TD passes with a 90-plus rating in five of the past six home games against the AFC West. Keenan Allen has caught at least eight passes in four of his past five divisional games. He had 108 receiving yards in his last game against the Chiefs, while Mike Williams had two TDs in their last meeting. It’s a diverse passing attack as tight end Hunter Henry has caught seven-plus passes in his past two at home, while running back Austin Ekeler leads the position in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown catches (57-559-6). Joining Ekeler in the backfield is Melvin Gordon, who is coming off his ninth-career 100-yard rushing game. He’s gone over 150 scrimmage yards in his past two versus KC.
The Chiefs most impactful defenders are on their defensive line, with defensive tackle Chris Jones the man who keeps opposing coordinators up at night. He’s had a sack in his past two, including two last week (forced fumble), his fifth career game with at least two sacks, one of which came in his last meeting with LA (2.5 sacks, PD). Coming on are ends Frank Clark and Emmanuel Ogbah. Clark has three sacks, two forced fumbles, and a pass defensed in the past three, while Ogbah has three sacks in the past four. Unfortunately for KC’s pass rush, Ogbah is out, as is fellow D-end Alex Okafor. Their most productive players in the back seven are linebacker Damien Wilson and cornerback Charvarius Ward. Only Wilson (59) has more tackles than Ward (53), who leads KC with two interceptions and six PDs.
Score: Chiefs 27, Chargers 24
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe, Maxwell, Bednarik, and the Rotary Lombardi Awards, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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